Pistols on the Lake Charles Bridge

I’ve been in Lake Charles, LA a few times recently and the other day I was on the I-10 Lake Charles Bridge and noticed an interesting detail on the bridge railing.

Lake_Charles_Bridge-1

I finally realized yesterday that they are crossed pistols. This morning, I stopped and had a closer look:
Lake_Charles_Bridge-2

I found a summery of an article published in The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA):

Pistols-packing bridge nears its 50th anniversay

Spanning 1.3 miles and packing 10,572 guns, the Calcasieu River bridge is a noteworthy landmark for travelers along Interstate 10. The “guns” are actually likenesses of dueling pistols, pairs of them, crossed at the barrels and forming part of the support for the iron hand rails lining the sides of the bridge. The span of concrete and steel which has supported motorists for almost half a century will reach its 50th anniversary shortly after the dawn of the 21st

ZOMG!!! 10,572 guns on the bridge!!!

Try getting that artistic detail included on a bridge today.

UPDATE:

Brenda added this in a comment, but I thought it made a great addition to the bridge story.

My grandfather, Rufus Taylor Nichols, from Silsbee, Texas, worked on the installation of the pistols on this bridge. He was a union iron worker originally from Arkansas and travelled all over the country doing iron work. He settled and retired in Silsbee, Texas, with his fourth wife, my grandmother, Vera Tidwell. I grew up in Florida, and every time we went to visit my family in Texas, we always took I-10 and went over the bridge and my dad would always point out the pistols to us. My grandfather died when I was a baby so I never got to know him but he was quite a character according to family legend.

Comments

Pistols on the Lake Charles Bridge — No Comments

  1. My hometown! Cool.

    Local legend has it there’s a real pair of guns on that bridge somewhere.

    Here’s one of the bridge at sunset.

    Enjoy some of that great food while you’re down there!

  2. I’m a truck driver and noticed that there are pistols intrigated in the the rails along the rails. what do represent or come from. I love history and want to know more about this bridge, thank you.

  3. My Dad is obsessed with these and I would love to get him a replica for Christmas!! Does anyone from that area know where you could get something like that?

  4. being a ex-military police, our insignia was cross pistols like the ones on the pistol bridge, so will some body tell me what they represent on the bridge?

  5. I have lived here all my life, so I have known about the bridge pistols for a long time. The pistols represent the times when pirates roamed these waters, particulary Jean Lafitte. We even have a festival every year in May called Contraband Days. So, the pistols are similar to the type that Jean Lafitte would have used.

  6. My grandfather, Rufus Taylor Nichols, from Silsbee, Texas, worked on the installation of the pistols on this bridge. He was a union iron worker originally from Arkansas and travelled all over the country doing iron work. He settled and retired in Silsbee, Texas, with his fourth wife, my grandmother, Vera Tidwell. I grew up in Florida, and every time we went to visit my family in Texas, we always took I-10 and went over the bridge and my dad would always point out the pistols to us. My grandfather died when I was a baby so I never got to know him but he was quite a character according to family legend.